|Location||586 East Town Street, Columbus, Ohio|
|Type||Historic house museum|
|Public transit access|| 11 |
Fernandez Cortez Kelton House
|Part of||East Town Street Historic District (ID76001425 )|
|Added to NRHP||November 8, 1979|
|Designated CRHP||October 4, 1982|
The Kelton House Museum and Garden is a Greek Revival and Italianate mansion in the Discovery District of downtown Columbus, Ohio. The museum was established by the Junior League of Columbus to promote an understanding of daily life, customs, and decorative arts in 19th-century Columbus and to educate visitors about the Underground Railroad.
Fernando Cortez Kelton was a merchant from Vermont who rose to prominence in Columbus as a drygoods wholesaler. He and his wife, Sophia Langdon Stone Kelton, built the Kelton House on Town Street in 1852. The Keltons were fervent abolitionists who used their home as a stop on the Underground Railroad. Fernando Kelton was so respected for his abolitionist work that he was selected to be a pallbearer at the funeral procession of Abraham Lincoln when Lincoln's remains were brought to Columbus on their way to Illinois for burial. The Keltons' eldest son Oscar joined the 95th Ohio Infantry, Company A in 1862 to fight against slavery. He rose to the rank of first lieutenant before getting killed in the Battle of Brice's Crossroads on June 10, 1864. The same year, the Keltons took in Martha Hartway, a young runaway slave from Virginia. She was raised as part of the family until her marriage in 1874 to Thomas Lawrence, a carpenter whose work can still be seen in the Kelton House.
The house passed on to the Kelton's son, Frank Kelton. He married Isabella Morrow Coit, a suffragist who was one of the first four women to attend The Ohio State University. Her mother was the local women's rights leader Elizabeth Greer Coit. Frank later traded houses with his brother Edwin to better accommodate the various sizes of their families.
Edwin's daughter Grace Bird Kelton was the last member of the family to own the house. She lived there until her death in 1975. Grace was one of the first people in the country to make her living as an interior decorator, having studied at both the Parsons School of Design and the Pratt Institute. Her work was widely recognized; along with other members of AID, she consulted on the Jacqueline Kennedy redecoration of the White House in the 1960s.
After Grace's death, the house was left to the Columbus Foundation. They lease it to the Junior League of Columbus, who restored it to represent a time period between 1852 and 1900. The house now operates as a museum and events facility. Approximately 80–90 percent of the furnishings that visitors can see in the home were owned by the Kelton family.[ citation needed ]
Harriet Elisabeth Beecher Stowe was an American author and abolitionist. She came from the Beecher family, a religious family, and became best known for her novel Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852), which depicts the harsh conditions experienced by enslaved African Americans. The book reached an audience of millions as a novel and play, and became influential in the United States and in Great Britain, energizing anti-slavery forces in the American North, while provoking widespread anger in the South. Stowe wrote 30 books, including novels, three travel memoirs, and collections of articles and letters. She was influential both for her writings and for her public stances and debates on social issues of the day.
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John P. Parker was an American abolitionist, inventor, iron moulder and industrialist. Parker, who was African American, helped hundreds of slaves to freedom in the Underground Railroad resistance movement based in Ripley, Ohio. He saved and rescued fugitive slaves for nearly fifteen years. He was one of the few black people to patent an invention before 1900. His house in Ripley has been designated a National Historic Landmark and restored.
John Rankin was an American Presbyterian minister, educator and abolitionist. Upon moving to Ripley, Ohio, in 1822, he became known as one of Ohio's first and most active "conductors" on the Underground Railroad. Prominent pre-Civil War abolitionists William Lloyd Garrison, Theodore Weld, Henry Ward Beecher, and Harriet Beecher Stowe were influenced by Rankin's writings and work in the anti-slavery movement.
The Harriet Beecher Stowe House is a historic home in Cincinnati, Ohio which was once the residence of influential antislavery author Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of the 1852 novel Uncle Tom's Cabin.
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Betsy Mix Cowles was an early leader in the United States abolitionist movement. She was an active and influential Ohio-based reformer, and was a noted feminist and an educator. She counted among her friends and acquaintances people such as Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, Henry C. Wright, and Abby Kelley Foster.
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Samuel and Sally Wilson House is a registered historic building in Cincinnati, Ohio, listed in the National Register on November 15, 2000. It was a stop on the Underground Railroad.
The John Rankin House is a historic house museum at 6152 Rankin Hill Road in Ripley, Ohio. Built in 1828, it was home to Presbyterian abolitionist John Rankin, and was one of the original stops on the Underground Railroad. Harriet Beecher Stowe's visit to Rankin provided some of the story that became Uncle Tom's Cabin. The house was acquired by the State of Ohio in 1938 and is now operated by the Ohio History Connection and opened for tours. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1997.
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Delia Ann Webster was an American teacher, author, businesswoman and abolitionist in Kentucky who, with Calvin Fairbank, aided many slaves, including Lewis Hayden, his wife Harriet, and their son Joseph to escape to Ohio. She was convicted and sentenced to two years in the Kentucky State Penitentiary in Frankfort for aiding the Haydens' escape, but pardoned after two months.
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The East Town Street Historic District is a historic district in Downtown Columbus, Ohio. The site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976 and the Columbus Register of Historic Properties in 1982; the district boundaries differ between the two entries.
Belle Coit Kelton was an American suffragist and one of the first four women admitted to Ohio State University. She was the daughter of prominent Ohio suffragist Elizabeth Greer Coit, and a close friend of Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
Elizabeth Greer Coit was a prominent Ohio suffragist and humanitarian, who founded Columbus' first women's suffrage organization and was its inaugural President.